CMS by Drupal
Project Gutenberg is one of the greatest projects ever. I was really sad to read the obituary of its founder when I went to grab a giant pile of Sherlock Holmes just now. I was moved to donate $50, which is about what I can afford, and far less than it is worth.
So I clicked the "donate by credit card" buttons, because I certainly won't have anything to do with PayPal. I was prompted for all the usual credit card processing information…plus my phone number and email. I didn't want to give this information, so I left it blank—only to be told that my donation would not be processed without a syntactically valid email address. Being the persistent sort, and really wanting to help Project Gutenberg, I went ahead and supplied
This is when I noticed that the transaction was being processed by PayPal.
Moral dilemma: Do I support PayPal, who I regard as crooks, or fail to support Project Gutenberg, who I regard as heroes? Tough one. My final conclusion was this: Having personally seen PayPal take money from a nonprofit I am involved with (X.Org), I want to strongly encourage other nonprofits not to be victimized by them. So, instead of $50, I am donating this blog post.
Perhaps I'll use our nearly-defunct Postal Service to send Project Gutenberg a check.
For a while, I've been recommending the Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch to my friends as an e-book reader. I was wrong, and I apologize…
My family and I went to see The Bobs last night. They performed at the Alberta Rose Theatre, a small and intimate venue in northeast Portland, for the second time in less than a year. This was one of their final performances with current member Amy Bob Engelhardt who is going off to college, so she shared the stage with the vocalist coming into the group, Angie Bob Doctor. (Yes, this is a naming convention.)
The Bobs are the all-time greatest a capella group ever. Yes, I've seen all three seasons of The Sing-Off, been to live performances of The Blenders, etc, etc. Those folks are all really good, but The Bobs are better.
Technically, their performances are awesome; the more you know about vocal music, the more you will appreciate the difficuly level of the pieces they are taking on. Their cover tunes are hugely fun. More than half their material is original, though, and this is where they leave their competitors behind. These are strange songs, but for the most part they really work: hilarious and incisive.
The show we saw was the "Post-Holiday" show, so it had a lot of Christmas music in it. Bob's-style Christmas music, such as Christmas in Jail and Too Many Santas. We even got to hear the world premiere of a new Bob's tune, which was pretty fun.
More people need to see The Bobs. You need to see The Bobs. See The Bobs.
I've talked here about the Firesign Theatre in general and about their tech and science-oriented album I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus specifically. What we were privileged to see is a performance of Bozos celebrating the 40th anniversary of the album's release (as well as excerpts from their other work and especially from their Shakespeare parody Anythynge You Want To). Let that sink in for a moment. The four original members of the group were performing, live, material that they had publically released 40 years ago. There aren't many performing groups of any kind with that track record, much less in comic theater.
They were awesome. It was the best live show I've ever seen from them, and perhaps the best I've ever seen from anyone, period.
You still have a chance to catch live performances of these folks over the next year or two. Do it while you can. Trust me on this one.
Can't believe it's been three months since my last post here. I have some stuff queued up I want to talk about, and this break is an ideal time to catch up, so I'll be trying to get several articles up over the next few days. Happy Holidays everyone!
This user trap was a nice one. I noticed a month or so ago that the "libreadline" support in my "sqlite3" executable on my home box was no longer working. For the uninitiated, this means that I couldn't use line history and line editing when working on database queries. Really annoying.
Tonight I decided I would fix it, dammit. An hour or so of careful investigation later I finally noticed that some joker had stuck a copy of sqlite3 without readline support in the Android SDK "tools" directory; my path stuff was configured to find that one first.
For the record, that's really user-hostile behavior. Don't stick spare copies of standard utilities where I will run into them. Yes, I probably should have my path in the other order, or sooner or later a hostile 'ls' is going to get me. Oh well.
Update: I've been working for probably 10 hours on optimizing a particular sqlite3 query which was inexplicably slow (a minute or so), which is what started all this. Guess what? With the current Debian sqlite3, it runs instantly! Dammit.
I purchased a book from the Google eBookstore today. Boy, I'll never do that again…
I've looking for fantasy to read on an upcoming trip, so I Googled "all-time best fantasy" just now. I carefully inspected eight different lists: specifically all the relevant lists in the first page of search results. Of those eight lists, six were trash. Here's a meta-review…
OK, so everybody hates PayPal. Indeed, a while back they semi-legally stole thousands of dollars from the nonprofit foundation I help run. Now they're trying to get me to give them my bank account information (yeah, right) by charging a fee of about 5% on credit card transactions. Further, they say that after January 1 2012 I can no longer do business through them unless I "sign" a document agreeing that if they say they emailed me something then I must have received it. Fat chance.
I'm really angry at Congress for not regulating PayPal. That said, I'm angry with myself for putting up with them this long. I have closed my PayPal account now. I would encourage everyone else to do likewise, before you lose money and time to this scam.
For the past many months, I've been playing a free online poker game called "PurePlay Poker". I've built up a 2M chip balance from a starting balance of 1K. I quit tonight in the middle of a game…